April Ross knew her life would change forever after filing for divorce, but she wasn’t expecting to be shot and left paralyzed by her soon-to-be ex-husband just days later. Now, the Fulton County District Attorney is fighting to introduce a new gun law in Georgia that will stop spouses who are going through a divorce from purchasing a gun.
“It’s a no-brainer. That’s a dangerous time for someone who’s trying to get out of a relationship,” Ross told WSB-TV Atlanta. “Divorces and separations are volatile times and high emotions. The escalation can go from zero to 100.”
In April 2014, Ross was shot multiple times while she was sitting in a car with a coworker. The suspect, who was later discovered dead beside a pond after shooting himself, was Tranard McConnell – her estranged husband. Ross survived but had to undergo several surgeries to save her life.
In late-November, a year-and-a-half after being paralyzed, Ross returned to work. She is continuing rehabilitation and will require more surgeries, but she is also determined to prevent others from going through the same ordeal.
“You can’t eliminate every bad scenario but you can certainly reduce the number of opportunities someone has to hurt someone when they’re leaving a relationship,” she said.
The proposed bill, SB250, was filed by Georgia State Senator Doc Rhett, a Democrat from Marietta. It will be a tough fight since members of the legislature are predominantly Republican.
The bill would prevent divorcing individuals with a history of violence or a restraining order from buying a gun unless a judge provides permission. It would not apply to spouses who need a gun for their protection. If the bill is not passed by legislature, Ross is proposing a law that would require alerting a spouse if the other spouse has purchased a weapon.
Georgia Carry, a gun rights group, released a statement to WSB-TV Atlanta stating, “Many times emotions run high during divorce proceedings, but prohibiting any disarmed person from their second amendment right is not the proper method to attack the issue.”